Friday 4 March 2016

The joyless puritans of Salt Awareness Week

It was Salt Awareness Week this week so Action on Sugar cast off their robes and reverted to Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) for a parliamentary reception. The two organisations are one and the same, both operating under charity number 1098818 and living off CASH's bank account (its current income is so low that it no longer has to file accounts).

CASH is the brainchild of Graham MacGregor, a swivel-eyed megalomaniac who recently complained about sugar being used in jam and who plans to go to Argentina if the government doesn't introduce a sugar tax.

MacGregor is all about reformulation. He was instrumental in the industry-government voluntary partnership that removed some salt from the food supply from 2003 onwards. Leaving aside the fact that reducing salt consumption has no benefits except for people with high blood pressure, his new outfit, Action on Sugar, has the insane ambition of reducing sugar consumption by 50 per cent in five years. They also want to remove 20 per cent of saturated fat from the food supply. And take out even more salt.

What does MacGregor think food should taste of? Not much, if his performance at last year's Sugar Summit was anything to go by. Almost unbelievably, the 'public health' racket is now divided between those who want sugar removed from the food supply (the moderates) and those who want to remove sweetness from the human palate entirely (the purists).

MacGregor is of the latter persuasion. Even zero-calorie artificial sweeteners are too much for him. The public, he thinks, will learn to love their turnips when sugar, fat and salt are no more. Having removed a relatively trivial amount of salt from the food supply (salt consumption has fallen by around 15%, but not all this is due to reformulation), he thinks people can be weaned off sugar (and fat) like they have supposedly been weaned off salt.

We are being offered very thin gruel indeed. This tweet (sent during the parliamentary reception) says it all...

Flavourless, rotten food for all in MacGregor's Britain!

People who think taste is an irrelevance when it comes to food must not be allowed anywhere near the food supply. We are dealing with joyless puritans, the like of which we have not seen for generations. The government must give no quarter to these cranks.

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